eBay has changed the way we do business. With e-Commerce, we can now conveniently shop in our homes, during lunch breaks, at midnight all through our laptops, smart phones and tablets. A lot of people are on eBay. It is a good place where budding entrepreneurs can test the waters. It is also a venue to get rid of old things and find new treasures.
One area of doing business in eBay that is a bit tricky is shipping. If your products are affordable but your shipping is high, a lot of customers will be turned off. Customers want free shipping as much as possible. But that is not always possible, right? So what do you do? The perfect solution to this dilemma is the franking machine.
If you are not yet familiar with the franking machine, it is a device that is just like a printer but it prints very important information that your business can benefit from. Instead of using traditional stamps, it franks your letters. It prints the equivalent of a stamp. So why would you use a franking machine when it’s just the same as stamps? Discounts. Huge discounts from Royal Mail. Franked letters and parcels are about 20% cheaper than stamped mails. This will be great for your eBay business as you can offer lower shipping fees compared to your competitors.
Franking machines are incorporated with the latest domestic rates from Royal Mail so you no longer have to be a rate genius. You don’t need to figure out complex calculations. The machine will do it for you.
Sending mail internationally? Not a problem. The franking system also comes with the latest international rates.
Now you might be wondering if it’s expensive or if you can afford it. Whether you are a home, start-up or small business, you will absolutely find a machine that is within your price range.
Here are some of the best franking machines for your eBay business.
Pitney Bowes DM50
The DM50 is a basic entry-level franking machine. It can process low volumes of mail daily. It has a speed of 20 letters per minute. It is compact and the design is attractive. You can put it on your desktop if space is a problem in your office. It has a digital display unit. It has a 2.5 kg integrated weighing scale.
It can handle envelopes that are up to 8 mm thick. As an added bonus, you can print promotional messages or your return address on your envelopes. You can give your customers discount codes to be used for their next purchase.
You can update the DM50 via USB connection or through an analogue phone line.
If you are sending large parcels, you can use labels. You still get discounts from Royal Mail.
This model has a built-in SMART Meter. This allows you to frank VAT services and reclaim your VAT. This machine is also PIN-code protected so you can control who uses your credits. You can keep track of your expenses easily. It has a default rate setting so you don’t make posting mistakes that can cost you money.
The purchase price of this machine is around £1,050 but you can also rent it for £7 per week. Supplies (ink and labels) will cost you £60 depending on your usage.
The IS-280 is an award-winning franking system. It has a sleek design so you can easily fit it in your office. You don’t need a huge space for it as it is compact and can be placed on your desktop.
It has an encrypted chip on its ink cartridge that is set for a specific number of prints. It prints in high quality so you get clear and crisp impressions every time you use it.
Like the franking machine above, the IS-280 can also frank 8 mm thick envelopes. For larger pieces, use labels.
It has a 2 kg built-in weighing platform. Everyday local rates are stored in the system so you can access them quickly. Some international rates are also included.
You will be required to enter a PIN code before using the device. You will be able to know exactly who uses your machine and how much credits they are using. This controls cost and helps you budget your finances better.
You can easily update your machine through a LAN connection.
This machine is priced at around £1,250. Supplies such as ink and labels will set you back for £100 depending on your usage.
The Ecomail is a SMART machine. It has a modern touch screen for easy operation. It has an automatic letter ejector. It uses thermal ribbons rather than inkjet technology to print. The print quality is not as good as the other franking machines in its class but it is cheaper.
The Ecomail can handle 8 mm thick envelopes. You can also use labels for bigger packages. It has a connected 2 kg weighing platform. For quick processing, you can save your favorite jobs in its programmable OneTouch keys. Just press one button and the Ecomail will do the rest.
Like all franking machines, this model also stores the latest local and international rates. It is also PIN code protected. The default rate setting helps eliminate mistakes such as mis-posting. It comes with 2 cost centres as standard. That means you can have 2 separate accounts for better tracking and management.
You can update your device quickly by connecting it to a secure server. You can download software updates and postal rate changes. You can also download your company logos securely and quickly.
The price of this model is not widely available but you can expect it to be around the same price range as the other two above. For the supplies such as ink and labels, expect to pay around £60.
Mailcoms Mailbase Lite
The Mailbase Lite is another entry-level franking machine. It gives businesses a lower running cost and an affordable price tag.
It offers full semi-automatic feeding features and a Pass Through technology. These features make it faster than other models in its class.
The menu system is very easy to understand and operate. It is equipped with the latest Royal Mail UK rates and some international prices.
You can update it remotely through an analogue phone line or a PC connection.
It is compact and works quietly so it is great for any office setting. It offers high quality digital printing. Unlike its counterparts, it can handle envelopes up to 9.5 mm thick. You can also use labels with this model. It has a 2.5 kg weighing scale which you can upgrade to 5 kg.
This model is also a SMART Meter. You also need to enter a PIN in order to use this device. It has extra security features such as default rate setting to avoid mis-posting. You can view your postal usage easily on the screen or by printing them straight from the machine.
The price of this model is also not widely available so you have to request for a quote. Supplies will cost you around £100.
Use a franking machine and see your eBay business grow in no time! To get 3 quotations for the franking machine to suit your business needs simply fill out the above quotation form.